Another week passes by for the Bitcoin mining business amid new challenges from environmentalists against one of the industries most attacked by the green lobby in the US.
This week, attacks against Bitcoin mining for alleged environmental pollution saw a revival in the United States. However, now the sector has greater clarity, which shows that it complies with ESG standards. The latter was admitted by the Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge. Its specialists recently admitted to having exaggerated in their measurement of mining consumption.
In any case, environmental groups seem dissatisfied and this week some of the most combative ones were reborn in New York. Following are the three most important news of the week in the mining environment.
New York Crypto Company Renews and Revives Environmental Concerns
Environmentalists are putting pressure on New York authorities to deny permit renewal for a Bitcoin mining facility in North Tonawanda. They allege the operation threatens quality of life and undermines the state’s climate goals. Earthjustice joined local residents in this effort, highlighting concerns about energy consumption, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The company in question, Digihost, operates on the site of a former power plant and claims to be part of the climate solution. However, critics argue that it plans to emit more than 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Despite this, some recent reports have shown that Bitcoin miners can have a positive impact on the network.
Activists began a letter-writing campaign calling for the permit to be rejected. They argue that cryptocurrency mining relies on fossil fuels rather than clean energy.
Implications of the Hut 8 Merger with US Bitcoin Corp
Hut 8 Mining is in the process of merging with US Bitcoin Corp in an “all-share merger.” This merger aims to bolster Hut 8’s Bitcoin mining capacity and further diversify its revenue streams. In this way, this could make it the company with “possibly the most diversified business model among its public counterparts.”
The operation, whose shareholder voting period ends this month, will lead to the creation of Hut 8 Corp. based in the United States and listed on the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The merger has been supported by advisors and could be completed by September 30 if all necessary approvals are obtained.
This merger is seen as a strategic move for Hut 8, as it will allow it to diversify its operations and expand its mining capacity. Additionally, Hut 8 plans to leverage US Bitcoin Corp’s managed infrastructure and hosting operations as part of its diversification strategy.
Bloomberg Analyst Considers Pollution Accusation Against Mining Exaggerated
According to Bloomberg analyst Jamie Coutts, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from Bitcoin mining have decreased by 37.5% since their peak in 2021, reaching 60.9 megatons. This contradicts the common belief that Bitcoin is a huge energy consumer and contributes to climate change. China’s mining ban likely led miners to turn to renewable energy sources, which contributed to this decline.
Coutts argues that rather than being a burden on decarburization, Bitcoin could be beneficial. This considering that mining promotes the transition to renewable energies. He also notes that some previous estimates of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, such as that from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, did not take into account off-grid energy sources and miners’ shift to cleaner sources.
However, the issue of Bitcoin’s energy consumption is still controversial. Consequently, some estimates suggest that the industry remains a large consumer of fossil fuels.
By Leonardo Pérez